What is in-play betting? action

What is in-play betting?

By Zac L - Aug 25th 2022

What Is In-Play Betting?

In play betting is where you place a bet on a match that has already started, a match that is in play as the name suggests. 

The types of in-play bets you can make are dependent on the bookmaker. Bets can range from over/under goals to anytime goal scorer

How Does in Play Betting Work?

As you’re watching a match, you may pick up on or get a more accurate idea of what is likely happening in a match. 

With this newfound knowledge, some bookmakers allow you to place a bet during the match. This is at your own risk but betting on an in play match can give you the edge, especially if you’re an experienced reader of the game. 

How to Make Money from in Play Betting / In Play Betting Strategy

Now you’ve got a basic understanding of in-play betting, I imagine you want a framework to begin in play betting. Below is a strategy guide on how to make money on In Play betting: 

  1. Pick your football leagues 
  2. Gather Simple Data
  3. Analyse Tactics
  4. Follow a method 
  5. Start Practising

1. Pick Your Football Leagues

The first step in entering the In Play betting market is to decide which leagues you will watch to place bets on. 

Fast pictures of live footage is an essential part of in play betting. If you don’t have an up to date stream of the match you’re considering placing an In Play bet on, you’ll be behind on run of play. Make sure the local time and stream time match. 

Finding a league that matches your own working schedule and time zone is another essential requirement from a league. If a league always has matches in the middle of the night it will be disruptive to watch. Equally, a league that’s matches are on during when you work it won’t be easy to give it your full attention. 

The MLS often plays at a convenient time for workers in the GMT time zone.

A bookmaker that is convenient to the league you’ve chosen is a must. There may be a league that suits you otherwise, but if no bookmaker that you’re adept at using is giving odds on that market, you’ll struggle for success. 

2. Gather Simple Data

Once you’ve picked your league, you’ll need an overview of what’s happening in that league. Insights can be drawn from a variety of statistics. 

Goals per game lends an obvious insight into a league. A league that has high goals per game suggests that you should place bets such as over 1 or 2 goals or betting against there being a clean sheet for a particular side. 

Another statistic that varies from league to league is if there is a bias towards a home or away win/draw/win. Some leagues have a larger propensity to have home wins than others and this should be taken into account when betting. 

Referee bias is an often overlooked influence on the game. There is heaps of data on each referee across leagues and some have been in leagues for years. Some referees have a tendency to be harsh which means less open play and more cards. 

Mike Dean

Mike Dean was the longest serving Premier League referee

Overall, you need to get a feeling for the league. It may take some time and patience with a few dry matches mixed in but you need to be the judge when it comes to In Play betting. This can only be done by putting in the hours.

3. Analyse Tactics

The main advantage of In Play betting is that you yourself get to judge a match yourself. But you need some structure if you’re new to In Play betting. 

First off, you simply watch the first 15 minutes of a game. After this, it is time to decide if you want to place a bet or not. 

Take into consideration the number of dangerous attacks. If a team is getting into dangerous positions, goals will follow. Expected goals should also be watched but taken with a pinch of salt as teams defend differently which affects xG. 

Something more intangible but extremely important is the player’s body language. It takes time to pick this up accurately but being able to focus on key players and seeing where their head is valuable when informing an In Play bet. 

Player match ups and injuries should also influence your In Play bet. Some wingers dominate full backs. A good example of this was Allan Saint-Maximin Vs Kyle Walker last weekend. Players also pick up injuries but play on. Noticing these is important. 

Referee’s performance is something that can only be analysed once a game has started. Some referees will rule a game with an iron fist, some just want to let the game flow. 

4. Follow a Method

Here is a simple method for making in play bets: 

  1. Only bet between 15 and 30 minutes 
  2. Consider the location of the ball when betting
  3. Stake based on your perceived odds advantage
  4. Choose your type of bet such as the over/under market
  5. Shop for the best odds

5. Start Practicing

Having read the above is the equivalent of studying a textbook. The real learning comes by actually studying and watching matches. 

You need to build confidence in yourself and the perception of the game. To start betting confidently you will need to believe in yourself. Self belief can only be built through practice. 

The best practice is to immerse yourself in the league you have chosen and learn to love it. 


We’ve gone back to our theme of how to bet better. We hope you have learnt something! 

This article was written by Zac on behalf of KickOff. 

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